GPS blackspots eradicated by Cohda system

Monday, 16 April, 2018

GPS blackspots eradicated by Cohda system

A new vehicle positioning system that eliminates GPS blackspots between high-rise buildings has been released by Cohda Wireless.

Using Cohda’s expertise in developing collision avoidance systems for mines, the vehicle-based system V2X-Locate can identify vehicle position to sub-metre accuracy in environments that degrade GPS accuracy, such as tunnels, underground car parks and between high-rise buildings.

As well as enhancing current connected vehicles, the V2X-Locate provides a critical component for connected autonomous vehicles, which require uninterrupted positioning data to safely navigate on roads.

Although GPS navigation systems have revolutionised transport during the past decade, they can suffer from degraded accuracy in locations with compromised sky views, such as ‘urban canyons’ formed by high-rise buildings, underground car parks and tunnels.

Drawing on its experience in developing collision avoidance systems for underground mines, Cohda has designed V2X-Locate to enable equipped vehicles to identify their location using existing Smart City V2X (vehicle-to-everything) roadside infrastructure from any standards-based manufacturer.

Cohda Wireless Chief Technology Officer Paul Alexander said V2X-Locate was a globally unique product.

“We solve the problem caused by GPS and satellite-based positioning systems not working in all use cases,” he said.

“If you’re in a major downtown area with tall buildings, or in a tunnel or in an underground parking lot, a GPS system can fail, preventing it from delivering accurate results. As well as being inconvenient for current drivers, this is not an option as we enter the era of driverless cars.

“The V2X-Locate breakthrough is to position the vehicle with sub-metre accuracy by using the existing communications signals produced by V2X Smart City infrastructure deployments. The result is that V2X-Locate can eliminate positioning ‘blackspots’ in city centres where they are most likely to occur.”

The efficacy and accuracy of the V2X-Locate system has been demonstrated in a 2017 trial in New York City where it was tested while driving along Sixth Avenue, which has the tallest buildings in the city. Comparably tested GPS-based systems were as much as tens of metres off course, at times showing cars driving through buildings.

Alexander said Cohda Wireless had designed V2X-Locate by using its experience developing collision avoidance technology for underground mines.

“The hardest place to do positioning is one kilometre underground with a cubic kilometre of copper above your head,” he said.

“That’s where V2X-Locate was born. Cohda has worked in that area for several years, providing accurate positioning for vehicles where no GPS connectivity is available. We’ve now successfully migrated that technology from mine sites of the outback to the urban canyons of New York City.”

Image credit: © Grinvalds

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